More infections, fewer hospitalisations: "I want to react against negative thinking"

The number of corona infections keeps going up, but on the other hand fewer patients are being hospitalised. Biostatistician Niel Hens told the VRT that "I want to react against those focussing on the dark side of things. The figures are pretty much under control, especially compared to neighbouring countries."

The daily Covid update tells us that 2,324 new cases were reported each day on average between 23 and 29 January, a 9 percent rise on the week. However, 48,000 Covid tests were being carried out each day, which is 13 percent up on the week. Of each 100 tests, 5.5 turned out to be positive. This figure remains more or less the same. 

The good news is that fewer patients have to go to hospital: 119 per day between 26 January and 1 February, a 12 percent drop on the week. This brings the total number of Covid patients in Belgian hospitals to 1,852; 325 of them are in intensive care with 172 on ventilators. 

Just over 3 percent of the adult population Belgium (3.03) has now been vaccinated (or at least they have received a first jab). In total numbers, this means 279,195 Belgians. 

This is a difficult time with a lot of uncertainty, but we are seeing small, positive signs

Speaking in the VRT's current affairs evening programme "De Afspraak", biostatistician Niel Hens said that "we should look at the positive side of things". Last week, reports warned against the British variant that could cause major outbreaks in Belgium, but so far everything is under control. 

"The figures show that things remain relatively under control, especially when we compare our situation to our neighbouring countries. (...) Yes, we are going through a difficult spell with a lot of uncertainty, but people are following the rules quite well and this is paying off. We are seeing small, positive signs, like the fact that fewer care home residents are being hospitalised. This brings new hope." 

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